The Florida Panthers are honoring the victims of the shooting at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
On Thursday, the Panthers face the Washington Capitals — Florida’s first home game since the Feb. 14 shooting. There will be a moment of silence before the game as well as an extended tribute featuring video and speakers, similar to what the Vegas Golden Knights produced for their Oct. 10 home opener after a mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip that month.
— Florida Panthers (@FlaPanthers) February 18, 2018
Seventeen people died when a gunman opened fire at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which is about 10 miles from the Panthers’ arena in Sunrise and just less than four miles from their practice facility in Coral Springs. Many Panthers employees and players — including goalie Roberto Luongo and captain Derek MacKenzie — live in the neighborhood and have children enrolled in the school district.
The Panthers will wear decal stickers Thursday on their helmets and “MSD” patches on their sweaters. They debuted those additions during their road game at Calgary on Saturday and will continue to wear them for the rest of the season.
A blood drive outside the arena started seven hours before the puck drops Thursday to help replenish local blood banks. Within the first three hours there were almost 200 donors. The team is collecting monetary donations and conducting a 50/50 raffle for the Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund. The Florida Panthers Foundation and the NHL will match donations and contribute $50,000 to the raffle.